What is a Static v.s. Dynamic Site?

By Om Gautam3 min read · Posted Nov 21, 2022

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A static site is a website that shows the same information on every page for every user. On the other hand, a dynamic website is one that has aspects that change based on the needs of each user.

A Dive into Static Websites

Static websites are websites that do not change and are made up of prebuilt files that are uploaded to the web. These websites are made using client side languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and the only way to change the appearance of the website is to edit the code of the corresponding HTML file. When we take a look into what is going on in the background of a static site, we can see that it is relatively simple: each of the pages on the site are HTML files and they are directly transferred from the server to the webpage without any detours.

Advantages of Static Websites

The biggest benefit of a static website is its simplicity. Static websites are easy to make from scratch, less time consuming, and cost efficient. In addition, static websites have a faster loading time when compared to dynamic websites because of their set user interface and functionalities. These sites also have a higher level of security because they lack the integration of databases and APIs, a potential point for hackers to attack.

Disadvantages of Static Websites

Of course, a static website’s simplicity can also turn out to be a disadvantage. Static sites do not have an efficient way to be scaled. The only way to create a large scale static website is to make hundreds of different HTML pages, which is time consuming and inefficient. Static websites are also tedious when changing layout or contents; the developer will have to go and change the code for even small things, something that is not possible to complete in a short time frame. Furthermore, some websites just aren’t able to be made with a static structure. For example, a site that changes based on a user's location or an e-commerce site would not be able to function as a static website. This is where a dynamic site shines.

A Dive into Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites are those that change based on data collected from a user. In these types of websites, the content that is displayed to a user is stored within a database or other backend system. This adds another layer to what is going on in the background of the site: instead of just going from the file to the webpage, a dynamic site connects with a third party server to retrieve data and display it on the user interface. To create a dynamic websites, developers use server side languages – those than run on a server rather than on a client – like Python, Ruby, C#, PHP, and more.

Advantages of Dynamic Websites

One advantage of a dynamic website is that it is easy to change. Especially when it comes to startup businesses with a lot of upcoming changes, a website that can be easily and efficiently edited is key. With dynamic sites, developers can accomplish this: these sites not only allow you to alter pages without changing its entire design, but they also allow you to duplicate content to other pages. These websites also allow you to engage with customers more efficiently since it changes based on user collected data. Examples of this would be changing the site based on the user’s location, interests, or past actions.

Disadvantages of Dynamic Websites

One main disadvantage of dynamic sites is that security is easier to breach since there are more access points to the site, such as databases. In addition, these sites require more time, effort, and expertise to create. Businesses will most likely need to hire a developer to create a dynamic site, which will cost more money than a simple static site. There could also be issues with the performance of the website because of the various back end connections that are involved with dynamic sites.

Which Site is fit for you?

Overall, both dynamic and static sites have their benefits and drawbacks. Depending on the reason you are making the website, you can gauge which site is best for you. Looking for a simple, unchanging website? Use a static site. Looking for a site that changes data based on user data? Use a dynamic site. Weigh the pros and cons and choose what is best for the purpose of your website!

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